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Bringing Inspiration To Earth

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Empowerment

Self-Care and Self-Compassion is not just for women

I had a very interesting discussion on today’s show with Canadian, Julie Starr from PossibilityCoaching.net. Her focus is on ‘life coaching for women’. We discussed the importance of ‘standing in one’s power’. To speak truthfully, confidently and knowing one’s importance in the world. It didn’t take long for me to realize that these attributes are important for every individual, women and men. Yes, women sometimes have to give this more attention because they are often pulled in many directions. The demands of work, family, spouse and societal expectations make it easy to push aside their needs and desires. But we all get side-tracked from time-to-time and forget to take care of ourselves and enjoy some of  the comforts that life offers.

We discussed many ways to practice self-care.  (the complete list can be found in an article on Julie’s website) A several key principles that I found practical and easy to apply are:

  1. Less is more – Sounds a bit odd but the idea that less clutter in your life, both mentally and physically, can provide the freedom and space to be more creative, effective and happier. Take a little time each day to ‘clean house’ so to speak.  Get rid of junk in a drawer, closet or kitchen.  Also get rid of some of the junk running through your brain.  The negative thoughts, self-judgment, depression, anxiety or fear.  Toss it – delete it! Do a little at a time each day – and if for some reason a day goes by when you don’t de-clutter – don’t beat yourself up!
  2. Let it be…Let it go – I’m reminded of the word’s of the Serenity Prayer “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference…” To accept and LET GO of the things I cannot change. So much time and energy is wasted trying to control the uncontrollable. Worrying about a future event that may not occur, or reliving a negative past experience and keeping it alive in the present. What’s done is done! I know very well that it can be difficult to ‘let go’.  It is sometimes easier to ‘hold on’ to what we know even if it makes us miserable.  Why?  Because we know what to expect and how to react.  If we ‘let go’, who knows what will happen! The fact is, in many cases, we don’t know what to expect when we ‘let go’ of something or someone – but that should not stop us from releasing whatever is holding us back.  There have been a few times when I ‘let go’ of a fear that had me paralyzed – and the result was spectacular!  Whenever I find myself having difficulty ‘releasing’, I think back to those experiences and find that it makes ‘letting go’ easier and freeing.
  3. Create a Self-Care Plan – Schedule “You Time”.  A time when you pamper yourself, do whatever is FUN for you, and honor the spirit and person you are.  Sure we all have demands on our life but we also deserve to enjoy life – even if it’s just a bit each day.

Self-Care is not Self-ish – it’s simply ensures that we are the best person we can be.  Happy, confident parents ensure their children will have a great role model for their future success.  Happy, confident spouses or partners ensure that their relationship stays strong and healthy.  Happy, confident people attract happy confident people.

Julie Starr

Take care of yourself – be happy and confident!

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Is is approriate to use the word ‘sexy’ in a memoir about child abuse?

That was the question asked in the chat room during my recent radio show with Kelly Flook, author of ‘Shhhh!  Sad, Shocking and Sexy‘.

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Kelly had experienced emotional, physical and sexual abuse as a child and took the courageous step to document and present to the world the journey her life took as a result. I can understand the listener’s question. Why make a connection between child abuse and ‘sexy’?  Kelly indicated that she was asked that question often, and she too understands the concern.  However, in her book she includes situations and experiences of romance and love.  It’s not strictly about the abuse. The listener was not convinced that Kelly’s answer alleviated her concern, but acknowledged it was Kelly’s book and it was her right to title it as she saw fit.

This isn’t the first time I had an individual on my show to discuss their memoir of surviving and working through an abusive childhood. On June 15th I had a gentleman from the UK, James Williamson, as guest on my show.  He wrote the book ‘They Can’t Touch Him Now‘.

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James waited until all those who would be affected by his revelations had passed on. During my discussion with James he told me that he struggled with the writing of this book when it came to describing the details of his abuse.  He wanted to be as specific and informative as possible without exciting those abusers and giving them some freak thrill. James indicated it was a delicate balance that he gave much attention.

According to The National Center for Victims of Crime (www.victimsofcrime.org) and studies by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center:

  • 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
  • Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
  • During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized;
  • Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.

These numbers are stunning.  Each child will grow up with the abuse as a background for their adult behaviors.  Often childhood abuse works its way into becoming adult self-abuse.  Some, like James Williamson, will wait until the abusers and those involved die off before revealing their circumstances.  Some, like Kelly Flook, won’t wait – with the hope that their story can help victims of abuse now.  They will tell their story even if it means alienating themselves from people close to them.

Back to the original question of this post. Is is appropriate to use the word ‘sexy’ in a memoir about child abuse? Recognizing that Kelly was able to overcome the guilt, shame and blame that often accompanies childhood abuse – and have  romantic, loving – and yes – sexy relationships, should be a beacon to those whose who have abusive pasts.  You are not condemned to a life of disappointing relationships – you can – and deserve to live a life filled with Love.

Becoming Inspirational

I believe one of the most rewarding accomplishments that one can achieve in their life is to be an inspiration to others.  Some of humankind’s most technological advancements and most beautiful works of art exist because of inspiration from human or Divine sources.

How does one become inspirational?

If you take a moment to examine the life of a couple inspirational people who have recently passed on, you will see a couple integral components.  The two examples that come to my mind quickly are Maya Angelou and Nelson Mandela.  Both spirits are considered inspirational by many in the global community.  A poet and a politician.  Very different life paths, but they have common elements.  Both had a life of struggle – but did not let that prevent them from living life to it’s fullest.  Both worked toward a peaceful and compassionate world.  Most importantly they both walked their talk.  Have you had, or currently have, a difficult life?  Then you have the seeds of becoming inspirational.

Not every inspirational person is famous.  To some, a parent or grandparent is their inspiration.  What is it that makes them inspirational?  Could it be their belief in the value of the child?  Maybe it’s unconditional love and support that the parent or grandparent provides.  If you are a parent or grandparent, you have the perfect life situation to be inspirational.

What about the neighbor, teacher, firefighter, police officer, postman, charity worker, lover, spouse, friend, and even radio host?  Each one of these roles in life can be a source of inspiration… and truth be told… EVERY single person, no matter what role in life they play can be inspirational right where they are – starting now.

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As host of the Bringing Inspiration To Earth show it is my passion to present inspirational people to my listeners. I have had guests from all walks of life and ones with varying degrees of ‘success’ and/or ‘influence’.  I remember two recent ‘high profile’ guests on my show.  One inspired me, the other did not.  Both guests had many appearances on popular national television and radio shows.  Both guests have literally hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and both had inspirational messages to deliver.

Guest A spoke of compassion after a lifetime of struggle.  During the show she often referenced the many interactions she had with famous people (name-dropped) and how her message ‘resonated’ with them, giving her work ‘validity’.  Even though Guest B had comparable interactions with famous people, not once during the show did he mention them.  Instead his focus was on providing useful information for the listener.  Also, Guest B offered his services to the listeners but only after a two week period, the day following the interview he was off to the Syria/Turkey border to assist with the refugee crisis.

Which guest do you think inspired me most?

My favorite guests are those who are not famous but have chosen to use difficult life circumstances as a motivation to assist others going through similar struggles. They chose to give of themselves with little reward. They are compassionate and available. They walk their talk.

They have become inspirational.

 

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